"Come with me if you want to not die." - Wyldestyle
Since 1949, people of all ages have enjoyed one of the most innovative toys in modern history. 560 billion bricks later, The Lego Group has become a global presence. It was a matter of time before someone assembled a feature-length movie based on them, which youtubers have made short films of for years. The question was who? And how? To outsiders, this looks like a movie about a toy, a long commercial, and something only young boys will like. Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) has deconstruction these notions to the last plastic stud for an unforgettable experience (and song) that audiences of all ages will enjoy, with a story that's true to what Lego is all about. Colorful, noisy, and outrageous in all the right ways, The Lego Movie is a perfect collage of animation techniques - nothing short of a master"piece!"
Emmet is an average, everyday construction worker. Nothing really special about him, until he mistakenly gets the "piece of resistance" stuck to his back. Now President Business is after him, fearing the prophecy of "the special" who threatens his plans for a world of conformity. Only by teaming up with Master Builders can Emmet stand a chance of avoiding the melting chamber. But to defeat Lord Business, Emmet must reach inside and find the special within.
The technical aspect of this movie is the selling point for me. Instead of going fully computer animated (which I half-expected since every direct to video Lego production has gone that way), the creators decided to go with the more slightly clunky look of stop motion animation - while still using computers! Real set pieces combined with realistically rendered plastic pieces made the overall production a substantially tangible one. With seemingly never ending movement like a dizzying circus ride you never want to end, it will require multiple viewings to see every detail.
The star"stud"ded cast is simply icing on an already delicious cake. Chris Pratt's perky hero is sure to set your smile in stone like Krazy Glue, while Elizabeth Banks packs a punch as a rebel without a brick. Morgan Freeman and Will Ferrel - need I say more? - completely stole the show in more ways than one, and it's become official that The Lego Movie has gone down in history as the first time we've ever seen Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern together in the same big-screen adventure (well played, Warner Bros., well played!).
What knocks this movie out of the park for me is the story. Is this movie just about a toy? By the film's end, not entirely. There's a deeper message here, a fable of conformity vs. creativity that's applicable to every one of every age. Few films are able to reach out to me on a personal level. This is one of them. Ole Kirk Christiansen, the founder of Lego, was said to believe in providing only the best, because children deserve the best. As I watched this unfolding adventure with my son, I was reminded of what goes on in the mind of a young boy, and my role as a father now. This movie is about more than building with bricks; it's about building relationships.
And if a movie is capable of humbling its viewer while simultaneously encouraging them, it's perfect.
The Lego Movie is the first "must see" film of 2014. Critics are raving. I'm raving. The crowd in the first Saturday showing exploded in applause afterwards, and if the little girl who sat behind me saying, "that was better than Frozen!" isn't a powerful enough endorsement for you, I don't know what is. This Valentines Day, skip the drama and head for the laughs!
Have you seen The Lego Movie yet? Plan to? If you've ever touched, handled, or played with Legos before, what's your story?
I'm David, and, you guessed it ... "Everything Is Awesome!"